Addressing Pedagogical Challenges in Teaching Social Justice Issues: Are We Scared Yet?

Laneshia R. Conner, Rujeko O. Machinga-Asaolu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While films are popular as teaching tools in social work education, to critique social inequalities, horror films have not been the conventional genre. This teaching note describes the creation and deployment of a course that uses horror films to address social justice issues as part of different critical reflection, which is linked to practice wisdom. The author describes the structure of course, readings, activities, and reflections for expanding the use of this genre and well as limitations. The use of horror films can be a useful and salient tool to engage students to draw upon social constructions of what it means to be fearful or scared, and teach about infractions to human nature from a social work perspective. Broad implications are discussed, including other genres and the availability of resources to replicate this course in other settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-273
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Horror films
  • media
  • social justice issues
  • social work education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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